E Cash-Back: A Silver Lining

Are cash-back programs multiplying under our eyes? Is anyone keeping track of this progress systematically? The last report I saw is very encouraging. It seems that corporations are quietly joining the band-wagon, and that is a good thing.

Cash-back programs are a unique silver lining on an otherwise bleak horizon. Observed by just a few specialists, it seems that a financial crisis of unheard-of proportions is galloping toward us. You have to listen to them to see the inevitability of the crisis. The question is not if, but when.

Bill Bonner is one such specialist. His credentials are impeccable. He predicted the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the savings-and-loan debacle, the crash of the dot-coms, the bursting of the housing bubble. He keeps a steady eye on the burgeoning debt of families, corporations, and governments, here and abroad. He has created a compact research organization that analyzes complex records with an open, unbiased mind.

In his latest private publication, When the ATMS Go Dark (2017), Bill Bonner offers not only a detailed chart of past financial crises worldwide. Most importantly, he offers a step-by-step analysis of the effects of the bursting of the debt bubble.

Bill Bonner also offers a detailed list of remedies for the individual person of means.

In certain circles, it is said, “Forget Saving ‘The System” - Save Yourself.” 

But there is no such thing as safety for the individual person. Even assuming that such a thing is possible, to which world will this person emerge when he finally gets out of the bunker?

Civilizations have died in the past.

Sixty years ago, in the context of intense conversations fostered by the Lisle Foundation, I was fingered as an “incorrigible optimist.” I still am.

How can I not be?

How can I not be grateful for my life and grateful to the Lisle Foundation for having lived that marvelous experience twice---through instant recall? 

Let us see whether we can prevent the dissolution of our present civilization. There are many wrongs in it—and those we should try to correct. But there are also many goods in it, they make the effort to save it worthwhile.

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Carmine Gorga is president of The Somist Institute and a former Fulbright Scholar.

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